Monday, November 15, 2010

Ghosts of Albion: William Shakespeare, Occult Poet

The Occult Poetry of William Shakespeare

One of the new qualities in Ghosts of Albion is Occult Poet.  The Occult Poet creates subtle, but sometime far reaching magical effects that are often less overt than that of a witch or magician.  Presented here is one of Albion's greatest occult poets. 

Few people in the history of the world, let alone the history of the English language, have had the world-wide effect of the Bard of Avon, William Shakespeare.

Born sometime in the Spring of 1564 (generally attributed to April or May), much about Shakespeare’s life is still mystery. It is unknown when and where he picked up his proficiency in Occult Poetry or even why he picked it up. What is know that the plays, poems and love sonnets have had sometimes subtle and sometimes grand magical effects. To modern (Victorian) occult scholars the effects are obvious and profound, and among other Victorian English occult poets his works are now as valued as highly as Byron’s and the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (1859).

Shakespeare’s work is known in general to protect the shores of Albion from supernatural attack and to strengthen her people. His works have been demonstrated to protect against evil minded faeries, witches and malicious ghosts. While nothing to date has been discovered that specifically protect against demons or even other threats from beyond, there are many “lost plays” that scholars feel would provide such protection.

Contacting the Bard from beyond has proven to be impossible. No one has reported seeing his ghost and mediums and spiritualists have not been able to contact him. So asking him directly has failed.

Noted works and Effects

These works only achieve their magical state when performed by a troupe of actors (as Shakespeare intended) or by an Occult Poet. To find the key passages or phrases the Occult Poet needs to pass an Occultism skill check (Intelligence + Occultism). A magician or occult scholar my attempt to find these as well (-2 to their skill check) but they are unable to use them as occult poetry. Any Occult poetry learned from Shakespeare’s works can only be used once per day as the Bard intended.
To use the works of the Bard as Occult Poetry requires the described roll from the Ghost of Albion RPG under the Occult Poet quality.
Again, Directors are encouraged to have their players recite the stanzas in question. After all quoting Hamlet well should be worth a Drama Point!

A Midsummer Night’s Dream came to Shakespeare appropriately enough as a dream on one Midsummer’s night. Generally regarded as one of his greatest comedies, it was also crafted as an occult pact of sorts between our world and that of the world of the Faerie. Each time the play is performed the pact is renewed. The Faerie will remain out of our realms and humans, except a select few, will not be able to see the faerie realms or their gateways. In addition the Seelie Court, ruled at the time by King Oberon and Queen Titania, would prevent the Unseelie Court from interfering as well.
Occult Poetry effects: When the appropriate passages are quoted, interactions with any Faerie are treated as if the Poet had an Attractiveness or Charisma +2 levels higher.

Macbeth is the Bard’s most obviously supernatural play. Each time it is performed it sets up a protection against witchcraft. Originally it was designed to protect all of Albion, but an error in the writing has limited it to only the people watching the performance. Unfortunately the same error backfires on the performers and makes them more likely to suffer the malfacea of evil witches during the rehearsals of the play. It is common believed that Macbeth was written to fend off a personal attack by witches.
Occult Poetry effects: When the appropriate passages are quoted, the Occult Poet receives a protection against evil witchcraft. All magical attacks against him are considered to come from a witch with 2 levels of magic lower. For example, Byron is attacked by a witch casting Soul Burn (PL6) with magic of 7. Quoting Macbeth, Byron causes the attack damage to be recalculated as if the witch’s magic level were 5. While this is lower than the PL of the spell the witch still casts, only damage is effected.

All's Well That Ends Well, Measure for Measure and Troilus and Cressida, each attempt to right some societal ill or wrong. Here the Bard struggles with wordcraft as an Occult Poet and wordcraft as a playright. Depending on how they are performed they do provide a positive benefit (usually Good Luck +1) to those in attendance.
Occult Poetry effects: When the appropriate passages are quoted, the Occult Poet receives a +1 bonus to his next roll within the next three hours.

Romeo and Juliet has had many purported occult properties. However many occult scholars and Shakespeare scholars report that so many changes have been made to it since Shakespeare’s death that the occult properties it once had may be lost.
Occult Poetry effects: For this tragedy of love the occult poet may contact the spirit of a lost loved one and speak to them. This effect though can only be performed at sunset.

His histories, King John, Richard II, Henry IV, etc, while mostly just good plays, have some occult properties for strengthening the monarchy and might of Albion.
Occult Poetry effects: When the appropriate passages are quoted, the Occult Poet receives a +1 bonus to his attacks and damage for the next three combat turns.

Titus Andronicus, one of the Bard’s bloodiest plays, speaks of death, combat and struggle.
Occult Poetry effects: When the appropriate passages are quoted, the Occult Poet receives a +3 bonus to his attacks and damage for the next single combat turn, but looses -1 to his dodge roll.

The love poems and sonnets of Shakespeare are the most quoted in the world. Lovers world wide have uttered his words in love and devotion thousands of times over.
Occult Poetry effects: Quoting Shakespeare’s love poems is believed to magically increase one’s Attractiveness or Charisma by +1 to anyone the Occult Poet fancies.


Gaming Ronin said...

All I can say is Awesome!

5stonegames said...

Very Cool!

dicecipher said...

What an awesome concept!

Pun Isaac said...

The Occult Poet was my favorite new quality in GoA. There's no doubt I'll use this in my next game. I'd be interested in seeing other works of literature done in this way.